Our trip yesterday went as well as possible, thank you to everybody who was praying. We don't take smooth trips for granted. Aaron and I woke up the kids at 5:00, and by 6:00 we had colleagues dropping in to see if there was anything they could do to help. I do love my SITAG family! We had plenty of helping hands at the wharf and quickly had all of the cargo up on the second deck of the ship. The seas were calm when we pulled out at 9:00, but several of us felt the weather was warmer than usual.
The result was that Olivia (yet again) lost her beef jerkey over the side of the ship shortly before we reached Yandina at 3:00. We saw a few familiar faces in the crowds, and I was able to carry on a few conversations from my perch on the ship by yelling down to my friends on the wharf. After two hours of unloading cargo, we finally left Yandina. I was engrossed in reading my book, "The Radium Girls", when I heard Aaron exclaim, "It's a funnel cloud!" We have NEVER seen a funnel cloud of any sort here in the Solomon Islands, so this little water spout was a delight to watch. It lasted for several minutes, but even when it disappeared, the skies were dark and spitting rain.
This made the decks of the ship super slick (several of our shipmates slipped and fell)! After another hour and a half of travel, we finally arrived at Marulaon. The canoes lined up four deep to get people and cargo off the ship, so we had to wait for a while. Leonard took the first boat of cargo, then Belza took the second boat, and finally the whole family was able to pile into Leonard's canoe, along with the very heavy gas cylinder. By this time, it was totally dark, so Leonard slowly eased the canoe along toward the shore, keeping a careful eye out for the clear path to avoid the sharp coral when we neared land. We dragged ourselves out of the boat, so grateful for all of the helping hands, and began to cart boxes and buckets up the hill. I think we finally had everything up to the house just before 7:30, and then we started rotating through cold showers while others pulled out the clean sheets and began making beds. From start to finish, we depended on others for help yesterday: help from SITAG, help from our Marulaon neighbors, and help from people around the world who were petitioning God's strength and energy on our behalf.